The Day Was Cloudy Character Analysis

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Actions in War
In the novel “The Things They Carried”, written by Tim O'Brien, there are several characters defined by their actions, attitudes, and beliefs. These behaviors illustrate what kind of people they are and define their masculinity, cowardice, and courage throughout the novel.
O’Brien doesn’t just talk about his own performance in the military, but others as well. In the novel, O’Brien states, “The day was cloudy. I passed through towns with familiar names, through the pine forests and down to the prairie, and then to Vietnam, where I was a soldier, and then home again. I survived, but it's not a happy ending. I was a coward. I went to the war” (O’Brien 49). This shows how O’Brien could be a coward in the stories. On the other hand, O’Brien could also show his masculinity. “In the
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O’Brien states, “Thank God for Rat Kiley. Every so often, maybe four times altogether, he trotted back to check me out. Which took courage. It was a wild fight, guys running and laying down fire and regrouping and running again, lots of noise, but Rat Kiley took the risks” (O’Brien 130). He also was a definite model of a masculine man. Most of this was taught to him from being in the war. “Masculinities most defining trait would be violence and a military is the largest entity of violence in a society” (Tag Archive). Kiley could also be a coward in different parts of the novel. In the novel it states, “They carried the common secret of cowardice barely restrained, the instinct to run or freeze or hide, and in many respects this was the heaviest burden of all, for it could never be put down, it required perfect balance and perfect posture. They carried their reputations. They carried the soldier's greatest fear, which was the fear of blushing. Men killed, and died because they were embarrassed not to” (O’Brien 24). Even though Kiley was a very courageous person, he still demonstrated cowardice at

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